(Trinidad Guardian) It is estimated that more 100 T&T citizens have left this country to join Islamic State, including about 70 men who were joined by dozens of children and women.
In 2017, Southern Command’s Admiral Kurt Tidd said: “Some of the individuals who left Trinidad-Tobago” have shown up “on film engaged in terrorist acts” and have committed murders in Syria. Even the New York Times couldn’t ignore the developing threat from T&T’s jihadists, posting a story in 2017 citing American officials who fear “that Trinidadian fighters could return from the Middle East and attack American diplomatic and oil installations in Trinidad, or even take a three-and-a-half hour flight to Miami.”
The US Treasury Department has listed two citizens of T&T on its terrorism sanctions list, making it illegal for anyone or any entity to engage in transactions with them. The are Emraan Ali, 51, who was dual T&T-US citizenship and Eddie Aleong, 38, who they are accuse of working together to raise and send cash to Trinidadian ISIS fighters in the conflict zone.
In 2015, Ali lived for a time at an ISIS guest house in Raqqah, Syria. Aleong is suspected of facilitating money transfers to ISIS as recently as March of this.
Ali is married the daughter of Imam Nazim Mohammed, head of the of the Masjid Umar Ibn Khattab Jamaat, Rio Claro,
In an interview with the T&T Guardian some time ago, Imam Mohammed said: “I don’t get no information on them; I don’t know where they are.”
In March 2017, Trinidadian Shane Crawford was added to a list of ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorists’ (SDGT), by the US State Department at the end of March. A day later, this country also designated him a terrorist.
His mother, Joan Crawford, said he was hit by a US drone strike in October 2016 and eventually died.
Crawford left for Syria in 2013 and was believed to be among the first of the more than 100 nationals that joined the self-proclaimed Middle Eastern caliphate.